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Wendy carlos 02
Wendy Carlos
BirthnameWalter Carlos
Date of birthNovember 14, 1939
Place of birthRhode Island, USA

Wendy Carlos (born November 14, 1939) is the music composer for all of the original music from the movie TRON. Carlos is one of the first famous performers of electronic music using synthesizers and has written other movie scores including A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.


Carlos was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island as Walter Carlos. Carlos's musical education began when she started playing the piano at the age of six. Her formal education included Brown University where she studied music and physics, and Columbia University where she earned a MA in music. At Columbia, Carlos was a student of Vladimir Ussachevsky, a pioneer in electronic music. After graduation, she met Robert Moog and was one of his earliest customers, providing feedback for his further development of the Moog synthesizer. Around 1966, Carlos met Rachel Elkind who produced her early albums. Carlos has lived in New York since 1962.

Her first six recordings were released under the name Walter Carlos. In 1972, Carlos underwent sex reassignment surgery. Carlos's first public appearance after her gender transition was in an interview in the May 1979 issue of Playboy magazine, a decision she would come to regret because of the unwelcome publicity it brought to her personal life. On her official site, her transition is discussed in an essay stating that she values her privacy on the subject.


Switched-On Bach (1968) was one of the earliest albums to demonstrate the use of synthesizers as a genuine musical instrument. As an early user of Robert Moog's first commercially available synthesizer, Carlos helped pioneer the technology, which was significantly more difficult to use than it is today. Multitrack recording techniques played a critical role in the time-consuming process of creating this album. Switched-On Bach became the first classical album to sell 500,000 copies, and (eventually) to go platinum. A sequel of additional synthesized baroque music, The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, followed in 1969. (Its title is a play on Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier".) While it sold well, it did not achieve the near-legendary status that Switched-On Bach did.

1972's Sonic Seasonings pushed the envelope further. This was packaged as a double album, with one side dedicated to each of the four seasons, and each side consisting of one long track. It blended recorded sounds with synthesized sounds, without melodies, to create an ambient effect. Not as popular as some other albums, it was however very influential on other artists who went on to create the ambient genre. Also in 1972, Carlos composed and recorded music for the soundtrack of the film A Clockwork Orange. She worked with Stanley Kubrick again on the score for The Shining, although in the end, Kubrick used mostly pre-existing music cues from other composers.

Official Site

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Wendy Carlos. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tron Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.